Diego Simeone insists overturning a 3-0 deficit in the Champions League semi-finals against Real Madrid “is not impossible” for Atletico Madrid.
Atleti bounced back from their defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu with a 1-0 victory over Eibar on Saturday to all-but-confirm third place in La Liga, and Simeone believes his side are capable of defying the odds when they face Los Blancos in the second leg next week.
“It’s been five-and-a-half, almost six, wonderful years,” the Coach told reporters.
“The fans are grateful and the players are still giving. We had a very difficult start to the season and some situations made us lack the consistency that we’d always had.
“We’re in an important place in the absence of two matchdays and we have the dream of being able to confirm [third] in our next game.
“I'm excited about seeing the fans, I’m proud to have these players, it makes me very happy to see the atmosphere we’re playing in.
“We have a very difficult match on Wednesday. For many, it’s impossible, but for us, it’s not.
“Tiago and Augusto’s absences? We’ve missed them this season. Their two absences have meant that Saul, Gabi and Koke have played in every game.
“With them, we’d have had more legs for all the games we had to play. I’m very happy with Tiago’s 15 minutes because he showed heart when entering the game.
“It was no coincidence that he was in that moment, he stopped a chance that was very difficult.
“Comeback against Madrid? I told them after the game to just go into the dressing room.
“I told them that it’d be very difficult, that we were facing the best team in the world, who score in every game, but that we could [turn the tie around].
“I’m convinced, otherwise I wouldn’t say it. If we’re all together and understand that it’s a semi-final at home, we’ll have our chances.
“The days after [the defeat] weren’t easy for players because they didn’t have the same joy and natural enthusiasm that they have when they win, and you could see that in the first few minutes.
“We need precision and peace of mind for Wednesday’s game.”